The developer behind Alpharetta’s Avalon is joining the High Street team with plans to break ground on the long-dormant mini-city in Dunwoody’s section of Perimeter Center by the end of next year.

North American Properties announced last month it was teaming up with High Street property owner GID to develop “High Street Atlanta” on nearly 40 acres at Perimeter Center Park and Hammond Drive near the Dunwoody MARTA station. As part of the announcement, NAP said a groundbreaking is expected in late 2019.

A newly released illustration of the planned High Street mixed-use development shows interior streets surrounded by wide sidewalks with store fronts. (North American Properties)

NAP was behind Avalon in Alpharetta, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development on 86 acres. Other NAP projects in metro Atlanta include Atlantic Station and Colony Square in Midtown. NAP is headquartered in Cincinnati and has offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Fort Myers, Fla.

Boston-based GID remains the primary developer for the project expected to span 10 city blocks on the Sandy Springs border and encompass 8 million square feet of residential, retail, hotel and office space.

GID President James Linsley recently invited Dunwoody city officials to join him on a tour of Avalon. “While each mixed-use project is unique, we believe Avalon and High Street share certain similarities and common themes,” Linsley said in an email to the mayor and City Council.

The empty field at Perimeter Center Park and Hammond Drive as seen from the Dunwoody MARTA parking deck is included in High Street development. The lot is across the street from the current State Farm regional headquarters now under construction. (Phil Mosier)

“I’ve seen Avalon,” Mayor Denis Shortal said in an interview. “But we haven’t seen the full proposal yet [for High Street] and we can’t comment.” He added the six-month moratorium implemented on Nov. 19 on multi-unit buildings also limits any public discussion of the project. The moratorium is needed to give time to review fire safety standards, city officials said.

“Until we get it straightened out with the fire code, we’ve got a moratorium for six months. We may release it earlier or may extend it. It’s all conjecture right now,” Shortal said.

How the moratorium in place until May on multi-unit buildings, such as apartments and office towers, may affect High Street’s plans to break ground next year is unknown. The moratorium prohibits the acceptance and review of applications or issuing any building permits.

GID’s Vice President of Development Jeff Lowenberg and GID attorney Woody Galloway attended the Nov. 19 meeting, where the City Council voted to approve the moratorium, but declined to comment on why they were there. They did huddle with and speak to Shortal after the meeting. Shortal declined to say what they spoke about.

Linsley’s email was sent two days after the moratorium was approved and informed city officials that GID selected North American Properties as a development partner because of its local knowledge of retail leasing, retail property management and programming. He said NAP’s success with Avalon in retail leasing and retail property management was instrumental in GID’s decision to pick them for High Street. Linsley also stated in the email that he wanted to “confirm GID’s commitment” in the High Street project.

Another illustration of the planned High Street development, where 3,000 residential units are planned to be constructed along with retail and office space. (North American Properties)

A request for comment from North American Properties about the moratorium and if it would affect High Street was not returned.

The High Street development has been on paper since 2007. That’s when DeKalb County approved rezoning for the massive mixed-use development that includes 1,500 apartments and 1,500 condominiums, 400,000 square feet of new office, 400,000 square feet of retail and 400 hotel rooms. Dunwoody incorporated as a city the following year.

A March 8 application for a land disturbance permit for the first phase of High Street was rejected by the city, according to documents obtained via an open records request. A new application has not yet been filed, according to city officials.

City staff also rejected a March 8 application for a land disturbance permit for the first phase of the development and requested more information and details before considering a new application.

Site plans submitted to the city in March by Kimley-Horn as part of the LDP application for the first phase of High Street show four blocks of mixed-use development, private internal streets and parking decks. A small, central park area is also included.

The first phase encompasses nearly 22 acres and includes demolition of existing surface parking lots adjacent to the 11-story office building at 211 Perimeter Center Parkway. No major construction is reflected around the 219 and 223 Perimeter Center Parkway office buildings. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution is based at 223 Perimeter Center Parkway.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution building on Perimeter Center Parkway, as well as the buildings behind it, are included in the planned High Street mixed-use development that will include 10 city blocks and 8 million square feet. (Phil Mosier)

A 30-story condominium tower that was once considered to be part of the first phase of High Street and last discussed publicly at a Dunwoody Homeowners Association meeting in 2016 is not included in the first phase, according to the LDP application filed in March.

The site plan for the first phase does include four 8-story apartment buildings and their parking decks, a row of townhomes and a 16-story apartment building surrounding 211 Perimeter Center, according to the LDP application.

A 12-story office tower and a 7-story parking deck are also included in the first phase. Retail on the ground floors of the apartment and office buildings has been part of ongoing discussions surrounding the project.

As part of their rejection of the High Street LDP application, city staff requested more information and details in several areas before considering a new application. The city requested a current tree survey, saying a 2015 tree survey was unacceptable. Several questions about stormwater detention were also raised.

Requests also include that High Street’s “Center Street” that comes off Perimeter Center Parkway into the center of the mixed-use development be extended to the Sandy Springs border for future connection.

Bike and pedestrian connectivity must also be included along Center Street as part as part of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts Commuter Trail Master Plan, according to the city’s comments. The bike lane must be separate from the road, according to city instructions.
The city also requested a westbound right turn lane on Hammond Drive.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.